How to Install a Subfloor

Install a Subfloor

Now it is time to install the sub-flooring. You will need certain tools and materials. You can use wood screws instead of nails. This provides for a tighter floor and for the prevention of the nails backing out of the sub-flooring.


Materials needed:

  • 10d nails or screws
  • 8d nails or screws
  • 3/4 inch interior plywood
  • sawhorses for cutting plywood

I recommend using 3/4 inch interior plywood as it is stronger than 1/2 inch, especially if you are planning to install ceramic tile as your flooring. The flooring won’t give, and your tiles have a much better chance of not breaking when a table or heavy furniture is placed on them or the floor buckles in the heat or cold.

Remove the sub-flooring, that is there if any. Using your sawhorses, place the plywood on the sawhorses. Using your combination square, make sure the corners of the plywood are square. Don’t go by the cut from the lumber yard, they do have tendencies to be off.

Use your circular saw and cut the plywood to match the size of the plywood you removed. Then nail or screw that piece of plywood to the joists on the floor, making sure not to leave gaps near the seams. If you leave gaps and prefer to install a vinyl floor, you will see the seams when the vinyl is settled and walked on.

Repeat this procedure for all the pieces of plywood you are replacing, remembering to make sure the pieces of plywood fit like a puzzle and have no gaps.

Another good idea is to glue the plywood to the joists and then use the screws or nails. This will guarantee that your floor is not going anywhere. You can purchase wood contractor’s glue such as Elmer’s at home improvement centers.

You can now install your tile, vinyl or wood flooring on top of your sub-flooring. You can now tell everyone that you did it yourself!

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